State Police in Pennsylvania have raided the Philadelphia offices of a Democratic Party-founded voter registration company after 7,000 registration forms were called into question—including 52 with non-existent addresses and at least one voter registered nine times at different addresses.
The organization—FieldWorks LLC—is best known for its voter registration campaigns conducted in black and Hispanic areas to boost voter turnout for the Democratic Party. The organization was founded by Laurie Moskowitz—a former member of the Democratic National Committee—and high-profile Los Angeles Democratic Party activist Susan Blad Seldin.
Police carry away boxes of evidence from the Fieldworks office in Philadelphia.
According to a report in the Philadelphia Inquirer, the raid on the FieldWorks office in North Philadelphia was seeking, among other things, forms that could be used to “construct fraudulent voter registration forms” and “completed voter registration forms containing same or similar identifying information of individuals on multiple forms.”
The raid is but the latest in a widening probe into FieldWorks, an organization which has, according to the Inquirer, “drawn scrutiny in other states before,” and “came hours after Rep. Patrick Meehan, a Republican congressman and former prosecutor, accused FieldWorks or its employees of a ‘criminal conspiracy’ in connection with disputed registration forms in Delaware County.”
Part of the investigation is focused around the fact that employees tasked with registering voters have to meet quotas in order to be paid bonuses—a practice which can encourage fraudulent voter registration by employees.
The Inquirer noted that in the past, executives of FieldWorks “have acknowledged that its business model means some of its canvassers will likely commit fraud. In 2012, Christopher Gallaway, one of the firm’s owners, testified before the board of elections for the Cincinnati area after his group flagged hundreds of possibly fraudulent registration applications.
He said the firm attempts to check the background of its hires and equips them with a phone with a tracking device so the company can confirm they are working. Under the law, Gallaway testified, the firm is required to submit all forms.
In his comments, Meehan questioned 7,000 registration forms that he said FieldWorks “jammed down the throats” of county officials after the October 11 registration deadline passed.
According to Meehan, Delaware County—long a Republican Party stronghold—received on October 14 and October 17 some 7,000 forms from the Department of State without a postmark.
“Of those, Meehan also cited applications from 52 voters registered at Delaware County addresses that he said do not exist, and forms from one apparent voter who appeared to be registered nine times at five different addresses.”
The forms Meehan shared with reporters included some showing that FieldWorks suspected some of the forms it filed were incomplete or deserved more scrutiny. But by law, it contended, it had to submit them.
The issue of voting fraud has loomed large in the presidential election, with Republican Party candidate Donald Trump claiming more than once that he had received evidence of voter fraud in a number of states regarded as marginal.
At a rally on Saturday in Reno, Nevada, Trump said that “certain key Democratic polling locations in Clark County were kept open hours and hours beyond closing time to bus and bring Democratic voters in.”
He added, “folks, it’s a rigged system, it’s a rigged system” to loud boos, before insisting, “we’re going to beat it”.
He was referring to a Las Vegas supermarket where Hispanic voters stood in line for hours to vote on Friday night, and the polling station, which was supposed to close at 7 pm, was deliberately kept open until 10 pm.
On Friday alone, 57,000 people in Clark County, which is home to Las Vegas and majority of Nevada’s population, voted. In total, over 770,000 votes have already been cast in the swing state, making up roughly two-thirds of the estimated turnout, and Democrats are widely favored to win the state, unless there is record Republican turnout on Tuesday.
The state GOP’s chair, Michael McDonald, made similar allegations while speaking before Trump arrived. “Last night in Clark County, they kept a poll open until 10 o’clock at night so a certain group can vote,” McDonald said.
“It was in an area that normally has high transition. The polls are supposed to close at seven. This was kept open until 10. You feel free right now? You think this is a free and easy election?”